Englishman Simon Dyson’s victory in the Dutch KLM Open had little bearing on the European Ryder Cup rankings, and neither did American Dean Wilson’s victory in the International on the USPGA Tour.
Of those players lining up in Holland, only Ireland’s Paul McGinley and England’s Paul Broadhurst were amongst the players battling for qualification – Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie was also present, but his position on captain Ian Woosnam’s team is already secure.
McGinley and Broadhurst are fighting to occupy the final qualification berth on the European points list, and McGinley consolidated his position ahead of Broadhurst by finishing in front of him. Broadhurst had entered the KLM Open full of optimism, but performed poorly and missed the halfway cut. McGinley fared slightly better and finished the week on -6, one stroke behind Montgomerie and one ahead of his captain. He therefore remains favourite to hold on to the final qualifying place, but it remains to be seen how much his noble decision to miss this week’s USPGA Championship to attend compatriot Darren Clarke’s wife’s funeral will cost him.
In the USA, Spain’s Sergio Garcia missed the opportunity to take the lead in the European World list after he dropped from 7th place to 29th during the final round of the International at Castle Pines. England’s David Howell, who like Garica is already assured of his place, performed poorly in missing the weekend cut and thus failed to extend his lead at the top of the European World list.
This week’s USPGA Championship – the final Major of the season – will go a long way towards deciding the final line-up. Despite there being two further qualification tournaments for the Europeans after the great event at Medinah, the extra points on offer make it the perfect chance to seal qualification. The importance of the event is the main reason why most of Europe’s top players skipped last week’s tournaments in order to prepare themselves.
European Ryder Cup Standings – 14/08/2006
World Points List
1 DAVID HOWELL (Eng), 208.64
2 COLIN MONTGOMERIE (Sco), 207.88
3 JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL (Spa), 202.09
4 HENRIK STENSON (Swe), 201.76
5 LUKE DONALD (Eng), 192.24
6 Sergio Garcia (Spa), 190.30
7 Paul Casey (Eng), 165.33
8 Padraig Harrington (Ire), 154.45
9 Carl Pettersson (Swe), 154.12
10 Robert Karlsson (Swe), 151.10
European Points List
1 Colin Montgomerie (Sco), 2,434,316
2 David Howell (Eng), 2,272,635
3 ROBERT KARLSSON (Swe), 1,870,581
4 Henrik Stenson (Swe), 1,782,888
5 PAUL CASEY (Eng), 1,721,833
6 SERGIO GARCIA (Spa), 1,634,091
7 PADRAIG HARRINGTON (Ire), 1,514,027
8 PAUL MCGINLEY (Ire), 1,473,112
9 Jose Maria Olazabal (Spa), 1,381,698
10 Paul Broadhurst (Eng), 1,336,905
* The top five on the World list qualify automatically, together with the top five from the European List that have not already qualified from the World List. Current qualifiers are shown in capitals. Points available until Sunday 3rd September 2006.